by Jim Grawe | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
(WICHITA, Kan.) — “I’ve been called upon to do a lot of things,” Pastor Terry Fox says. “But I’ve got to tell you, this is about the most unique call I’ve ever received.”
The call was from the mother of death row inmate Michael Hooper—convicted of murdering his girlfriend and two children in Oklahoma and set to be executed on August 14th. She wants Fox–an outspoken supporter of the death penalty—to come speak to her son and then be with her as they witness his execution.
“What I’ve had to ask myself is, will this change my view of the death penalty?” Fox ponders.
Fox never met the killer but has known his mother for quite a while. She lives in Oklahoma now but lived in Wichita up until about a year ago, and was a regular attendee at Summit Church where Fox pastors.
“She is going through something that I don’t think anyone can imagine,” Fox says.
Fox says he’s also been asked to serve as spokesperson for Hooper’s family.
“I don’t think anyone wins in this situation,” Fox says.
Fox has earned a reputation for his unwavering conservative views. But he says he’s learning that talking about something is one thing—confronting it face to face is another.
“I think the older you get the more you realize you don’t know everything,” Fox says. And you become more open to things in life—the big issues.”
Fox says he’s been thinking about the cases of death row inmates later proven innocent. He says he’s also revisiting the theology of the death penalty—considering whether it cuts short the possibility of repentance and redemption which he says are major tenets of the faith he preaches.
“It doesn’t make you weak or make you a different person than what you were because you change your mind on some of these big issues in life.”
Pastor Fox says at this point he still supports the death penalty. How that may change in coming days is anybody’s guess.